‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 09-15 October 2022
In the midst of the annual US World Bank & IMF financial frolic in Washington…
With all their suited & tied mannequins-of-color in attendance…
The Governor of the Central Bank declares out loud:
Sri Lanka will not take part in alternate international payment systems:
Central Bank declines to accept Russian Mir Payment System
…Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe
has declined to approve it on 2 occasions.
(see ee Sovereignty, Mir)
The first story makes it appear this is a sole decision by a vertical vertebrate. It takes another whole day, before the gelatinous chain-of-command is clarified:
‘Due to the US sanctions on the MIR payment system,
as confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Sri Lanka,
the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is not in a position
to consider favorably, at the current juncture,
the request to operate MIR card scheme
within the banking system,’ the CBSL said in tweet.
It is tweet, tweet, indeed. Or is it chirp? Or squawk? If we believe the English media, the IMF & World Bank are all earnestness & lament for the ‘global economy’. Much like the real assassins attending a Mafia funeral, they are the first to rise to eulogize the corpse. The news keep up its squawking stenography: ‘The IMF expects’to conclude an agreement with Sri Lanka. They then keep insisting they need further proof that the imported medicines prescribed, will be forced down throats. The IMF guarantees for the 17th time, these panaceas will revive the unliving!
Meanwhile the CB raising interest rates, will profit the moneylenders, and further discourage investment in modern industry. The holy spirit, the GDP, will duly rise, even as it merely indicates growth in bank services, etc.
The Central Bank, right from its inception in 1950 under a US governor, has opposed the independence, let alone the industrialization, of the country, recalled SBD de Silva. One of the features of the 1948 Soulbury Constitution was its attempt to stifle our international relations. This continues to this very day (see ee 10 August 2019 – Central Bank Special).
• Midst Washington’s autumnal tasmasha, in this month of Hollywood Halloween horror movies and multi-$trillion US war budgets, the English media repeated this week: US-funded thinktank ‘Advocata Institute in Sri Lanka has won the 2022 Asia Liberty Award securing a prize of a $10,000 for research work’.
The joke is: Advocata is giving itself an award! Advocata, Atlas, etc, are all US government fronts. Actually, it amounts to the US embassy giving itself an award for its ‘research’ to destabilize another country. Contra-gratulations indeed!
‘Every year, Atlas Network’s Templeton Freedom Award Prize Program, generously sponsored by the Templeton Religion Trust, honors and rewards thinktanks around the world through 6 Regional Liberty Awards.’ The Templeton Freedom Awards are handed out by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which is also funded by the tobacco industry (Philip Morris, CTC-BAT, etc).
The 2019 Asia Liberty Forum in Sri Lanka was co-hosted by the Advocata Institute & Atlas Network. Speakers included Verite Research Executive Director Nishan de Mel, etc. Talk about nepotism! (ee 31 August 2019)
Advocata Institute is part of this Atlas Network, founded by the infamous Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) – all capitalist thinktanks promoting ‘free market reforms’:
MPS is a powerful global policy-planning network
of over 500 thinktanks & numerous business schools,
corporate-backed foundations, media, & university economics departments
transformed into ideological centres of neoliberal strategy:
Atlas Economic Research Foundation, American Enterprise Institute,
Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, Institute of Economic Affairs, Centre for Policy Studies…
(see ee 2 February 2019)
This ee focuses on this Templeton prize business, a major funder and ‘wrangler’ of fake ‘spiritual’ controversies. We also look again at the role of Mark Mobius, the Templeton-linked investor. Mobius was the Keells’ conglomerate’s Chief Guest in 2019. Along with the US-funded thinktanks like Advocata, Verite, etc, and US-funded media, like monopoly Wijeya Group’s Sunday Times, Financial Times, Daily Mirror, etc, Mobius et al are playing a key role in hijacking Sri Lanka’s economy (re: Mobius, see Random Notes).
Templeton also funds the US Cato Institute. Advocata founder Razeen Salley, a Cato Adjunct Scholar and MPS member, was made chairman of the Dutch-funded Sri Lanka Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).
What’s the difference between US debt & the debts that our countries owe?
US debt doesn’t keep the USA from being one of the leading powers of the world
but our countries can’t make it because of the debts we owe?
The USA is never going to pay its debts;
It doesn’t have to pay its debts.
It can simply print dollars.
Africa has to earn US Dollars;
The only way it can earn US Dollars
is not to be assassinated for growing its own food
and becoming independent, and doing something the USA doesn’t like.
The principle underlying the foundation of the IMF & World Bank (IBRD)
is, no country should grow its own food.
Africa & 3rd world countries should only grow export crops.
In order to have an over-supply of cocoa & other tropical raw materials
to keep down the prices. They must buy their grain from the US or Europe
so, if they do something we do not like, we can do what the USA tried
to do with China in the 1960s. We can sanction them.
We are going to starve you. We are not going to export grain to you.
Owing their foreign debt in dollars means
they have to somehow sell something the US wants.
Not what they want.
The most evil organizations in the world
are the World Bank & IMF.’
(Michael Hudson, ee Economists, Empire & Economics)
The US makes countries owe debt in dollars. This is also why the US then demands control over the Central Bank, saying it must be ‘independent’. This is why they always demands devaluation. There’s a world price for grain, aluminum, for raw materials: So they can only devalue the price of their workers in each country. So when anyone is told to devalue, what are they devaluing? They have to pay workers less. Squeeze out more from the bottom to suck it up to the top 1%. Devaluation is an anti-worker policy. To prevent a domestic market & prosperity from developing.
Russia & China want no part of this dollar area, of this IMF business. They say: ‘We want our own currency. We will borrow in our own currency.’
As for us: so-called IMF Restructuring (aka Structural Adjustment) means we won’t pay them anything for maybe 4 years, after another election. When we do pay, we’ll pay over 50% more than what we would otherwise have.
‘Oil makes & breaks nations’
(ee Industry, Global finance vs global energy)
• An ‘aragalaya’ against the World Bank & IMF annual get-together in Washington, was publicized by the capitalist media. Numbers of demonstrators were not given. The published demands ignored the USA’s imperialist role, especially deindustrialization. They instead oppose ‘investment’ in fossil fuel and support ‘a transition’ to ‘clean energy’. They also call for a cancellation of ‘all debt’, as promoted by US rock & roll star Bono. This much-promoted Bono ‘Jubilee’ campaign to cancel bilateral debt, actually only helps private lenders to get first preference in debt repayment.
The media quoted such US NGOs as environmental Extinction Rebellion & feminist CodePink. Ironically, these NGOs were also active in Sri Lanka during the aragalaya, with its demands for submitting to the IMF. In Washington they sing another song. These are dollar-funded astro-turf groups, parading as grassroots. Their calls to cancel all debt, appear ‘radical’. Yet there are no calls for political non-interference in our countries. No calls to demand a modern industrial strategy to strengthen people and the economy. Instead, these NGOs operate to play movements against each other.
Bono’s so-called Jubilee Movement is appalling.
They want to wipe out third world debts to governments.
The banks are backing him. The bankers love Bono.
There is a ranking for every country when they pay foreign debts.
The ranking says they must pay governments first, and private sector second.
Bono’s Jubilee says, don’t pay governments.
This means third world countries do not pay their debt to their governments,
They have to only pay corporations & banks.
Pay Chase Manhattan & Citibank, etc, and bondholders.
This is a cover-up…
(ee Economists, Empire & Economics)
• Default Suicide or Homicide: It is now an open secret (the media will not re-tweet or re-squawk) that the Sri Lankan government either, on its own accord, pushed itself, or was pushed by the USA, to default. China is now on record as saying they tried to help, and warned the government not to default. Central Bank officials, ‘independent’ of the government, however refused and chose to default.
Inflation was blamed on local money printing, even though it’s the US, with its fictional dollarizing and murderous sanctions, that is mainly pumping inflation. An import-export plantation oligarchy’s links with Anglomania are deeper than common sense (ee Economists, Truth)
The government is now not allowed to fully trade with Iran, China or Russia. The government refuses to really restrict imports even as the capitalist media keeps up a steady harangue against actually non-existent controls (ee Focus, COPA’s Vitarana out).
This week saw financial analysts, IT professionals, sports equipment importers, all demanding dollars, and opposing restrictions on imports, which they claim are indispensable to their exports! Some like to insult beggars & welfare, yet there are no bigger beggars & welfare recipients and thieves than Sri Lanka’s capitalists. (The oft-prescribed PPP may well turn out to be what a corrupted SoE is all about).
A1. Reader Comments –
• Hellfire • Chevening’s Minors • Hambantota, Myanmar & China • China Opposed SL Default • Tax Rise Good for Paying BlackRock • SL Most Colonized? • Sage vs Intellectual • World War & Weight Loss • Congo, Haiti & SL
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Alternative to IMF Now • Widespread Default • Wall Street Dictatorship • Transphobia & Transnistria • Unilever Palm Oil Horrors • Haiti’s Big Oil Troubles • Haiti’s Inbred Rulers • Cuba-China Produce Pharma • Caribbean’s China • Sabotaging Electricity • Wages & Prices
A3. Random Notes –
• Corporate Prizes Galore • Fakery of Handicraft • Mobius, Templeton & the P Word • First Medical School in Jaffna • Dangers of Kerala Land Reform • Secrets of the IMF Pact • New Old Banking Act • Central Bank Dependence • SL Banks on the Slave Block • Unilever’s Congo Funds • Uranium & Victory • US Nuke Threats in Korea • US Curses Saudis • England’s Iron Act • Putin: Future of Energy in South’s Hands • Fake US Biz Stats
B. ee Focus
B1. COPA: Tissa Vitarana out, Kabir Hashim in. Why? – Tissa Vitarana
B2. IMF must become more than just a debt collector for private creditors – C Gunawardena
B3. Jesus Saves & So Does Templeton
C. News Index
C. News Index
A1. Reader Comments
ee thanks Readers who send articles of interest. Please excerpt or summarize what is important about any news sent, or your comments, and place any e-link at the end. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• ‘ee’s Hellfire was good’
• England’s Commonwealth Chevening Scholarship Application asks questions like: ‘Do you consider yourself to have a disability? Please state your gender. Do you consider yourself to be part of any minority or disadvantaged group in your country?’ I’m gonna have to make up a minority I belong to.’
• ‘The significance of Sri Lanka is not so much in regard to the shipping route through Malacca Strait – which can be blocked fairly easily, being close to saturation – but to other alternatives. Thailand is considering a Kra Isthmus Canal, which would shave 1,000km off the route through Malacca.
Of more immediate concern to the US: Myanmar & China’s cooperation to build a pipeline from Made island, next to Kyaukphyu deepwater port, to Kunming. Intended to take Myanmar oil & gas to China, but can be used to bypass Malacca Strait for other petroleum suppliers, an important consideration. Parallel to that, they’re building a new railway from Kyaukphyu to Kunming. China already sees Kunming as its gateway to South Asia, eg, many Chinese airlines use Kunming for flights from the region.
In this context, Sri Lanka becomes vital for the US to interdict ships passing close to Hambantota & to Trincomalee, on their way to Myanmar.’
• ‘China tried to stop Sri Lanka’s decision to default. China also prefers refinancing rather than enforcing austerity.’ (see ee Economists, Truth)
• ‘Oh my! The Sri Lankan government refused a Chinese bailout??! What is wrong with them? Did the IMF/US threaten their families or something, that they “chose” to default? How do we beat these pressures? It seems no effort is worth it until that’s done. It’s so disappointing the government doesn’t get help from China & Russia, despite our close relations with them.’
• ‘They’ve increased taxes on manufacturing and export of goods but not on export of services… This is just fiscal extraction. This makes no sense. They’re not raising taxes to increase public spending, but to raise revenue to pay back creditors like Blackrock. They know this will shrink the economy, but they can fake growth by privatizing natural monopolies to rentiers like Blackrock. This is the IMF playbook.’
• ‘Is SL the most thoroughly colonized country in South Asia? Does ee agree? The Portuguese & Dutch only ruled bits or the coastal areas. We were only fully colonized by the English for 100-something years.’
• ‘The Chinese say an intellectual is the furthest from a sage. They criticize intellectuals as being unable to act.’
• ‘Next World War imminent. Prepare for conscription. Better start exercising.’
• ‘Thanks for the insightful and illuminating links on both domestic and international criminal activities that have held the African Haitian people to ransom for centuries. There are glaring similarities between Haiti & Congo due to the criminal operations of the Western oligarchy. One fact overlooked is the historic pattern of this operation globally, albeit, the minute differences in the racial and cultural aspects of their modus operandi. Sri Lanka and South Africa are no different.
We need an organization that transcends both national and racialized boundaries. Establish and institute an education program that is Marxist in scope and ideological depth, minus the dogma often the taboo in some Marxist circles. Our education program should be based on the following 5 principles that free humanity from mental slavery: constructive, collaborative, instructive, reflective and general inquiry-based learning. These are deemed internationally proper and empowering curriculum methods that help to free & liberate humanity from mental bondage & slavery. Aluta continua. Cheer continua. Cheers.
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘But unless other countries work together to create an alternative to the IMF, World Bank, International Court, World Trade Organization & numerous UN agencies now biased toward the US/NATO by US diplomats and their proxies, the coming decades will see the US economic strategy of financial and military dominance unfold along the lines that Washington has planned. The question is whether these countries can develop an alternative new economic order to protect themselves from a fate like what Europe this year has imposed upon itself for the next decade.’ – ee Industry, The Euro without German Industry
• ‘4 emerging-market countries have defaulted on their debts so far this year, according to S&P Global Ratings: Russia, Sri Lanka, Belarus, Ukraine. Another 10 countries are in severe stress: Argentina, Lebanon, Ghana, Suriname, Zambia, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Congo-Brazzaville, Mozambique, El Salvador. Of the 94 emerging-market sovereigns S&P rates around the world, over one-quarter rank as B-minus, a low-quality rating indicative of a high-risk investment.’ – ee Economists, A strong Dollar
• ‘Let’s not forget that New York is home to Wall Street – an industry allowed to run its own private justice system while collapsing the entire US financial system in 2008 under the weight of its own corruption.’ (wallstreetonparade.com/2018/05/schneiderman-falls-vance-to-investigate)
• ‘These 4 provinces are Russian, but they were assigned ‘Ukrainian’ at birth. Recently they have come out as trans. They are border-fluid regions and their sovereignty is non-binary. They are Russians trapped in a ‘Ukrainian’ body, and have made their decision to transition. Their pronouns are now DPR/LPR. We Indians as allies support this transition and condemn the transphobic attitudes of westerners.’ – Jay Tharappel
• ‘In 1911, Huileries du Congo Belge, the company established by soap magnate William Lever, received massive areas of oil palm concessions at bargain price from the colonial authorities. In England, Lever had a reputation as a model employer providing relatively good working conditions to those in his factories. In the Congo however, he relied on land theft, coerced labor, and a monopoly enforced by the colonial regime to grow his profits.’ – ee Agriculture, Palm Oil
• ‘Haiti has an estimated US$20billion in gold reserves, with at least 3 foreign companies involved in mining and exploration – Newmont Ventures Ltd, VCS Mining, Majors. Haiti receives a royalty payment rate of 2.5% over a 25-year period for the country’s gold-mining concession. This is the lowest rate paid in the whole world! In comparison, Peru charges 12%, while Ecuador 5-8 %.
Haiti also has oil and gas “along the same continental shelf as Venezuela”. “Haiti’s oil reserves are larger than those of Venezuela,” Dr Daniel Mathurin, French scientist, told worldoil.com in a 2010 Jan 27 interview.’ – ee Sovereignty, Haiti: Nuff gold, plenty oil & bad juju
• ‘There exists a numerically miniscule but economically powerful set of inbreeding oligarch families in Haiti, who are not descendants of deported & enslaved Africans, like 99% of Haitians. The first ancestors of these “white oligarchs” arrived on the island in the late 1800s, as refugees from Syria, Palestine, Lebanon or later as WW2 European refugees of Jewish heritage. Many are of mixed-heritage through strategic marriages with light-skin Haitians who, decades after Haiti’s abolitionist revolution, carry visible evidence of having European slavers’ (French, British, Spanish) DNA. The white oligarchs of Haiti are known to collude with elites in the US, Canada, Europe, with foreign corporations as well as organized crime, to exploit the resources of the impoverished Caribbean country.’ – ee Sovereignty, White Warlords
• ‘Cuba’s Fidel Castro in 1981 learned about research in Texas on interferon, a new drug that showed promise in treating certain types of cancer and also viral infections. Two Cuba researchers soon were studying interferon in Houston. Within months six more had gone to Finland, where interferon had been developed. They learned about production methods. In a short time, the Cubans were manufacturing the drug, treating patients, and marketing interferon abroad. The ChangHeber company, a Chinese-Cuban joint venture for which Cuba provides scientific support, has been producing Interferon and other drug products since 2007. As the COVID-19 epidemic progressed in China, Cuba’s government made special administrative arrangements and sent experts to China so that ChangHeber might be able to serve China’s needs.”‘ – ee Industry, National Self-Reliance
• Jamaican Ambassador Richard L Bernal has some answers on how CARICOM can gradually shift course, without developed regional economic systems losing momentum. Bernal’s Red Dragon in the Caribbean (2016) offers the CARICOM a vision for “strategic engagement with China as one means of developing products that can penetrate the Chinese competitive market”. This certainly will be a widening of the region’s export market and earning potentials as CARICOM strategically seeks to expand exports, to China’s $12trillion market and economy. But in order to do this, we need new vision, new thinking, new bold actions and a strong focus on expanding CARICOM’s agriculture and industrial base.’ – ee Economists, Militarism
• ‘The US Air Force (UASF) has long favored attacking electrical power systems. Electric power has been considered a critical target in every war since WW2, and will likely be nominated in the future… The evidence shows that the only sound reason for attacking electrical power is to affect the production of war materiel in a war of attrition against a self-supporting nation-state without outside assistance.’ – Major Thomas Griffith, USAF University thesis, ‘Strategic Attack of National Electrical Systems’, 1994, gives a history of USAF strategy in attacking electric generation and distribution grids
• ‘The theory and empirical support for wage cost-push inflation and inflation expectations theory are fallacious. Marx answered the claim that wage rises lead automatically to price rises, some 160 years ago in a debate with trade unionist Thomas Weston who claimed wage rises were self-defeating as employers would just hike prices and workers would be back to square one. Marx argued (Value, Price and Profit), “a struggle for a rise of wages follows only in the track of previous changes in prices”. Many other things affect price changes: “the amount of production, the productive powers of labor, the value of money, fluctuations of market prices, different phases of the industrial cycle”.’ – ee Economists, Shock Therapy
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’) _
• Corporate Awards – How does the private sector find so much time to be giving and handing out prizes, awards, donations, etc, insisting on being photographed, and then dishing out glossy press releases about it, with accompanying bribes to media, to ensure their publication?
The celebrity-personalities involved in such public charity tend to be directors of companies, whose roles are said to be decorative, cosmetic and whitewash. ee has already pointed to the less-publicized role of former Chief Justice Siripavan joining the board of Commercial Bank. Then there’s Hemas and the pharmaceutical importers poster-girl Hema’s Kasturi, sometimes Chellarajah & sometimes Wilson, most times exhibiting ample décolletage. Wilson-Chellarajah is constantly announcing ‘local manufacture’ of pharmacueticals, etc. WC provided much of the whitewash concealing the mass-murderous scandal of the global pharma multinationals preventing the production of pharma in Asia and Africa, as blocked by the WTO’s TRIPS agreement.
• Not a week and not a ‘cultural’ supplement in some glossy magazine flutters by, without a paean to Sri Lanka’s doddering handicraft and handloom, ancient dances and rituals, etc. This week it was Ena de Silva’s ‘Role in Our Artistic Renaissance’. Exactly what has this ‘renaissance’ really been about? What was born again? ‘Her unprecedented textile art.’ Not one word is expressed about the robbery and vandalism of Thulhiriya etc, by MAS Gujeratis, Brandixes, etc.
An indulgent cargo cult still parades as sophisticates dancing and laying out their ‘home-grown’ wares and other delicacies for any carpetbagger who disembarks. We grow weary of hearing about the same dreary Chitrasenas, Lesters, etc. While they were pursuing their genius roles, slathering a film of diversion over our eyes, rhythmically stamping on the earth to a clash of cymbals and anklets, the ground was being slipped from under our floored digits.
• Don’t Use the Word ‘Privatization’: ‘Keell’s Cinnamon Life hosted “emerging markets investment pioneer” Mark Mobius of Mobius Capital Partners, formerly at Franklin Templeton Investments, who excels in robbing plantation economies. Mobius helped privatize Romania’s OMV Petrom in Romania and Russian oil firm Lukoil. Mobius then became a member of the Economic Advisory Board of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), which has been making steady inroads into owning Sri Lanka’s private banks, eg Commercial Bank, etc. (see ee 14 Dec 2019)
Mobius reappeared in Sri Lanka in February 2020, even prophesying the ‘aragalaya’:
Q: What keeps you up at night? A: I’m very positive about the spread of the internet & smartphones. So if anything keeps me up at night it would be the impact of that. We are already seeing it has resulted in riots in Hong Kong, Chile; everywhere around the world you are seeing the ability of people to get together quickly & the ability to organize themselves without needing to know each other. This is a big, big change and we have to ready for the good & bad of that.
Mobius was also asked: “What do you think needs to be done to develop the domestic bond market?” His third demand was ‘Make sure you start listing Government enterprises. I know the Government is hesitant about this. We should not use the word privatization… You could list 5% or 10% of the stocks but list the entire equity capital of the State Owned Enterprises (SoEs) and you immediately expand the scope of the market.” (ft.lk/business/The-Mobius-mantra-for-Sri-Lanka-growth/34-696254)
‘It was the IMF that came to Sri Lanka’s aid along with Templeton Funds under Mark Mobius during 2009, when Sri Lanka experienced the last currency crisis at the conclusion of the war’, glowed the Daily Mirror in February 2022.
– In 2022 April, US-funded electronic rag EconomyNext reported: ‘A Sri Lanka currency board would bring immediate confidence: Mark Mobius – ‘The law has got to be changed,’ he said.’ Mobius even took a train ride from Bentota to Galle at the start of the ‘aragalaya’.
– In May, EconomyNext reported: ‘The market gained in the 3 sessions last week after emerging market investor Mark Mobius last week signaled strong optimism over bond and equity investments in Sri Lanka.
– In July, Mobius reappeared and declared: ‘I was not surprised to learn that peaceful protesters finally lost their patience and stormed the President Gotabaya’s residence last week. Clearly the protesters wanted the President out of office and were already at the gates. Gotabaya’s resignation is critical to getting Sri Lanka back on its feet. In fact, for Sri Lanka to get out of this mess, a complete change in the leadership is essential. There needs to be a radical change in the political structure of the country for confidence to be restored not only among the population but also among foreign investors and international organisations.
He again demanded: ‘the institution of a currency board would be a big step in the right direction. I believe Sri Lanka will receive financial aid in time but it has to be given to the right hands… with the departure of the current administration, the recovery may well have been accelerated.’ (ee Focus, Templeton).
• ‘US Dr Samuel Fisk Green in 1848 established the first medical school in Ceylon at Manipay and thus also made his American Mission Dispensary the first teaching hospital in the island! He translated many of the medical books of his time into Tamil, including Cutter’s Anatomy, Physiology & Hygiene, Gray’s Anatomy, Maunsell’s Obstetrics, Druitt’s Surgery, Dalton’s Physiology and many more. The American Mission had already established the first printing press in the north which was also producing the second-oldest newspaper in Ceylon, The Morning Star… The mission decided to stop funding the medical school as the English had started a medical school in Colombo in 1870. Jaffna had to wait another 100 years for the establishment of a medical school, the Faculty of Medicine, in 1978! – ee Workers, The doctor
• Land reform in Kerala – ‘The most notable and successful example of land reforms in India are in the states of West Bengal & Kerala. The Land Reforms Ordinance was a law in Kerala by KR Gowri Amma, minister in the first EMS government. The Centre then just dismissed that state government. During 60 years of Congress rule in India, they dismissed over 100 state governments, starting with the India’s first provincial Communist Party government in Kerala in 1957. So much for “Cooperative Federalism”.’ (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_reform_in_Kerala)
• Divulge the Secret IMF Agreement – A petition to the Supreme Court is challenging Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe and other top officials, including former Finance Minister Ali Sabry and Attorney General to divulge the IMF staff-level agreement announced on September 1, 2022, for ‘a 48-month arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility of about $2.9billion.
This agreement is being illegally kept away from the legislature. Despite a lot of blather about ‘transparency’, this is what the capitalist demand for Central Bank independence amounts to – independent of democracy!
The petitioners have demanded details under the Right to Information Act, which they have not received to date. Around April 12, 2022, the Finance Ministry decided to default on its sovereign foreign debt with immediate effect. ‘There was no approval sought from Parliament prior to this decision… the default on the repayment of foreign debts led to the relegation of Sri Lanka to a status of an insolvent nation and this has plunged Sri Lanka into economic and financial isolation as a bankrupt nation.’ (ee Economists, Petition).
• The IMF is demanding a New Banking Act along with a Monetary Law Act to control the Central Bank, while the capitalists sing their chorus of ‘independent Central Bank’ (ee Economists, IMF demands new banking act)
Former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s 2019 Yahapalana ‘Monetary Law Act’ sought to amend the then 70-year-old law to ‘relieve’ the Central Bank ‘from printing money on instructions of the government to finance its deficit.’ It was also noted then: Samaraweera refused to elaborate on ‘the modalities of its implementation’. (sundaytimes.lk/190922/business-times/cb-independence-ensured-in-new-monetary-act-369466.html).
This promise of an MLA coincided with the September 2019 announcement of an ‘IMF Staff-Level Agreement on the 6th Review of Sri Lanka’s Extended Fund Facility’ after an IMF staff team led by Manuela Goretti visited Colombo, Sept 10-25, 2019.
• This ‘Central Bank independence’ business is an old IMF demand to prevent Sri Lanka’s control over its own economy, as Sri Lanka approaches a 75-year celebration of Soulbury Independence in February 2023.
It was noted in 2019, this ‘Central Bank independence’ business extends the US capitalist argument that ‘fiscal consolidation and independence of Central Bank, etc, are the pillars of macroeconomic stability and thereby the catalysts to attract more borrowings.’ Even back in 2019, the question was asked: ‘Could more foreign borrowings solve the debt problem?’ Though the real issue is FDI for what? (ft.lk/columns/Sri-Lanka-dressing-up-for-the-wrong-bride/4-686304). FDI to prevent any investment in modern industrialization.
• The Central Bank is also refusing to divulge the US plan to grab hold of the state banking system. Daily Mirror headline (10 Oct 2022): ‘CB to launch study to assess banks’ need for fresh capital’. Note: The DM headline says the Central Bank is ‘to launch a study’ (infinitive tense) on the banks. The body of the article however says they ‘have undertaken’ (present perfect tense) a study. Both these English tenses are overused in capitalists’ public media. These tenses are great for capitalists for they indicate no specific time (indefinite tense). The media can keep wasting our time. The other thing: The media is published to be forgotten. The English media can all be brought under one name: The Daily Amnesia
It is only in the body of the article that it’s made clear that the ‘diagnostic study is part of the staff-level agreement entered into with the IMF to bail out Sri Lanka’.
In the Central Bank’s case, they do not wish to divulge the IMF (US government) plans for Sri Lanka and its economy. Yet their plans are made abundantly clear.
The Central Bank’s ‘Diagnostic Study’ will focus on ‘big banks which have substantial exposure to foreign exchange bonds & loans’, with the ‘state-owned Bank of Ceylon & Peoples’ Bank included in the list of 9 big banks to be studied. Depending on the need, CBSL says might opt for re-capitalisation.’
The story then adds: ‘Sri Lanka’s banks are currently undergoing their most painful stretch of combined stress coming from the worst economic crisis the country has ever confronted this year, just as they were coming out of pandemic-related complexities, testing their resilience for the second time within a matter of 2 years’.
• Pressure continues on the Sri Lankan government to rescind the ban on palm oil plantations. This ee Agriculture news section carries links to the horror that palm oil has wrought on, eg, the Congo. However the articles ignore that Unilever is the biggest buyer of palm oil, for its fair&lovely soaps etc. Instead it notes, the main investors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, several US schools and universities (University of Michigan, Washington University in St Louis, Northwestern University, Kamehameha Schools), and pension funds from England and South Africa (Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund, South African Government Employees Pension Fund & Public Investment Corporation).
• ‘The next war will be won by the country which has control of uranium – Minister in Winston Churchill’s Cabinet to Edgar Sengier, Director of Union Minière, May 1939’
This story illustrates the role of an ‘Executive President’ and why the US kept its nuclear program a secret from the US Congress, etc.
In August 1939 Albert Einstein signed a letter to US President Roosevelt, to grab the top-grade uranium from the (Belgian) Congo, before the Germans did. This was a few months after English cabinet minister told the manager of the biggest Congolese mine, that uranium will decide the wars of the future. The US then moved in on Congo’s metals, just as Germany invaded Belgium in 1940. A year later, the US launched attacks to provoke Germany, before they declared war on Germany. They also placed an embargo against oil to Japan, which resulted in Japan attacking Pearl Harbor, etc.
Roosevelt in October 1939 set up a secret Uranium Committee as an advisory body, leading to the secret Manhattan project. In April 1940 that the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physics in Berlin had started an extensive research program involving uranium, ‘
In June 1940, shortly after Belgium’s defeat & occupation by Germany, the Uranium Committee encouraged Edgar Sengier, Managing Director of Union Minière, to move its mined supplies of Congolese uranium to the US for safekeeping, claiming the Congo might be invaded by Nazi Germany.
August 1, 1941, Roosevelt imposed an oil embargo on Japan. Churchill secretly reported to his Cabinet colleagues that during the Atlantic Conference, which was held off the coast of Newfoundland from Aug 9-12, Roosevelt told Churchill , ‘he would wage war, but not declare it, and that he would become more and more provocative. If the Germans did not like it, they could attack US forces!’
September 11, 1941, the US President publicly declared, he had ordered the US Navy and Air Force to shoot on sight at any German war vessel.
Hitler officially declared war on the US on December 11. On December 12, 1941, Hitler ‘proclaimed his decision to exterminate all Jews in Europe.’
February 18, 1945, an AP correspondent reported, Allied air commanders had adopted a policy of ‘deliberate terror bombing of German population centers.’ August 6, 1945, the US dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Japan.
European exploitation and horror was continued in the Congo, with the US murder of the Congo’s first elected leader after Belgian colonialism. In the last few weeks, the US has been threatening to nuke Russia, while accusing Russia of threatening them. For those who know history, this is nothing new.
• While threatening nuclear destruction in Eastern Europe and Asia, the US and allied European and off-white poodles escalated their war-mongering in Asia.
The US has been conducting joint military exercises in Japan using HIMARS Systems since October 1, Japan’s Kyodo News Agency reported. Oct 4, North Korea launched a ballistic missile over northern Japanese prefecture of Aomori. North Korea’s test launches are being carried out in response to the refusal of the US and its allies, namely Japan & South Korea, to stop joint military drills, which threaten regional stability.
North Korea’s UN Ambassador Kim Song on Wednesday urged the US to refrain from providing a nuclear umbrella and to suspend joint exercises with South Korea, reports Yonhap News Agency. The US should take the lead in nuclear disarmament and refrain from transferring nuclear technology.
Washington and Seoul’s recent joint exercises have also included Ulchi Freedom Shield exercises in August and maritime exercises involving nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan last month.
The North’s arms buildup is a basic right stipulated in the UN charter and a self-defensive means to counter the ‘heinous hostility of the US’. The North staged large-scale air-attack drills on October 8, involving the simultaneous mobilization of around 150 warplanes ‘for the first time in history’.
• New Jersey senator Bob Menendez who usually threatens Sri Lanka, also cursed Saudi Arabia this week. Menendez accused the Sauds of helping ‘underwrite Putin’s war through the OPEC+ cartel.’ He demanded the US ‘freeze’ all cooperation with Saudi Arabia. US ruling politicians have introduced legislation to immediately ‘pause’ all US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia for one year as well as halt sales of spare and repair parts, support services and logistical support. Saudi Arabia is however a top client of the US weapons industry…
• ‘The Iron Act (1750), in US colonial history, one of the English Trade & Navigation acts; it was intended to stem the development of colonial manufacturing in competition with home industry by restricting the growth of the US iron industry to the supply of raw metals. To meet English needs, pig iron and iron bar made in the colonies were permitted to enter England duty free. In the colonies the following were prohibited: the new establishment of furnaces that produced steel for tools, and the erection of rolling & slitting mills and of plating forges; the manufacture of hardware; and the export of colonial iron beyond the empire. The English policy was successful in its goal of suppressing the manufacture of finished iron goods in the colonies, but colonial production of basic iron and pig iron (which were then shipped to England) flourished under the Iron Act.
• The future of the entire energy issue lies with the Global South and Russia, not the Outlaw US Empire and its soon-to-be-shrinking network of vassals, said Russian President V Putin during their Energy Week:
Just look at which nations want to join SCO. Russia is busy gathering the gas-producing nations into their own OPEC-like organization. Proven reserves for oil & gas within the Outlaw US Empire are down to less than 2 more decades of extraction at the current pace which will be impossible to maintain because of how oil-basin decline functions. Canada’s bitumen or tar sands, while massive in quantity, will never come close to being completely mined since that requires 2 other scarce resources: water and gas, the latter of which is far too small, and is something that’s been known for several decades…
Venezuela has the most proven reserves on the planet, but they require special treatment too, although not the same as Canada’s bitumen. The Russian Energy Week program was filled with many important presentations that cover all aspects of the topic.
Geopolitically and geoeconomically, the energy issue ought to be front and center since it’s the #1 item needed for national development in the Global South. Putin mentioned a $2.5trillion deficit in energy-related investment caused by the Outlaw US Empire’s policies:
‘The fact is that due to the aggressive promotion of the green agenda, which, of course, needs support as I have already said, but all this must be done wisely. Due to this aggressive promotion, including in the Eurozone, the global oil & gas sector has already been underinvested. At the same time, EU & US sanctions were imposed against the leading oil producers – and this is about 20% of global industry.
‘As a result, in 2020-21, investments in oil and gas production fell to minimum levels over the past 15 years. You see this in 2020 and 2021, long before the start of our special operation in Donbass. And these investments turned out to be more than 2 times lower than in 2014. Due to the actions of so-called Western politicians, and business, underinvestment amounts to $2.5trillion.
What does the OPEC Plus decision have to do with this? ‘OPEC Plus’ is aimed solely at balancing the world market. (ee Industry, Putin’s Russian Energy Week Speech)
• Walter J Williams, ‘a private consulting economist, out of necessity, had to become a specialist in [US] government economic reporting’: ‘One of my early clients was a large manufacturer of commercial airplanes, who had developed an econometric model for predicting revenue passenger miles. The level of revenue passenger miles was their primary sales forecasting tool, and the model was heavily dependent on the GNP (now GDP) as reported by the Department of Commerce. Suddenly, their model stopped working, and they asked me if I could fix it. I realized the GNP numbers were faulty, corrected them for my client (official reporting was similarly revised a couple of years later) and the model worked again, at least for a while, until GNP methodological changes eventually made the underlying data worthless.
That began a lengthy process of exploring the history and nature of economic reporting and interviewing key people involved in the process from the early days of government reporting through the present. For a number of years I conducted surveys among business economists as to the quality of government statistics (vast majority thought it was pretty bad); my results led to frontpage stories in 1989 in NYTimes & Investors Business Daily…
Nonetheless, the quality of government reporting has deteriorated sharply in the last couple of decades. Reporting problems have included methodological changes to economic reporting that have pushed headline economic and inflation results out of the realm of real-world or common experience.’
(articles on the quality of government statistics became ShadowStats.com – Shadow Government Statistics)
B. Special Focus_
B1. COPA: Tissa Vitarana out, Kabir Hashim in. Why? – Tissa Vitarana
The Government has made a change in the composition of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts (COPA ). A major change is, its chairman Tissa Vitarana is no longer a member, thus no longer the chair. As many people have asked me why this has occurred, I thought that for the record and to avoid any misunderstandings, I should make a public statement.
As COPA chairman I have done my duty to the best of my ability with the support of the members of the committee. At the outset I decided to probe the activities of the 3 main sources of revenue to Government, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), the Customs, and the Excise Departments.
The Auditor General in his Report stated, many of the largest companies, including a major private bank, had not paid any income tax for 6-7 years. When we probed this it came out, there were 3 successive Boards of Appeal in the IRD, and a taxpayer who did not get redress from the first Board of Appeal, could then go to the second and then the third board of Appeal as well. It would appear that the process took about a year and a half at each stage, so that the process could be delayed for 5 or more years. Then it would be possible to resort to the Law Courts as well. That was why the biggest contributors to Tax Revenue were able to avoid payment of their dues for so long, seriously affecting Government Revenue and Budgetary expenditure for national development.
I, with the support of COPA, decided to propose to the Minister of Finance that there should be only one Board of Appeal in the IRD and that the matter should be settled within 6 months. Further, that at least 50% of the tax amount should be collected at the outset, pending a decision on payment of the balance. I have been informed that both Big Business and some employees at the IRD were not happy with our proposal. Further suggestions were also made to ensure that the sharks were not able to escape the tax net, and officials were not able to take bribes.
With regard to the Customs Department, we found out the HS Code was being manipulated to enable rich importers of large vehicles, companies or individuals, to avoid paying a substantial portion of the amount due to Government. To give one example, the category of ‘dual purpose vehicles’ was being misused to enable luxury Mercedes Benz vehicles to pay the low duty applicable to ambulances. We proposed that the HS code should be made specific so that there would be a separate category each for ambulances & for luxury vehicles.
With regard to the Excise Department it was clear that adulteration of imported liquor was rampant and little action was being taken against this abuse. The conduct of frequent raids and ensuring that the bottles collected were properly sealed and sent promptly to the Government Analyst for testing, required to be stepped up considerably if there was to be a significant impact. The attention being paid to stop or at least curtail the illicit liquor industry (kassippu etc) was totally inadequate. The conduct of frequent raids by a special Unit of well-paid and well-trained Police, located separately from the area Police, was essential to achieve a successful outcome.
COPA was also active in many other areas of public concern. To give an example, my friend Dr Prithiviraj Fernando was able to appear before officials of the Wildlife Department and show slides of his successful method for preventing Elephant-Human conflict, based on protecting the village, and not trapping elephants. On following up we found that no progress had been made. The reason given was that the Wildlife Department had to follow their unsuccessful method of trapping the elephants, as tenders had already been called for the purchase of the concrete columns & barbed wire.
The recommendations of COPA have to be sent to the Ministry concerned for action. If our suggestions led to loss of income to some officials, the progress was not satisfactory. Further, where we identified corrupt individuals there is no way of taking action against them. Not even to report to the Attorney General or the Police. This is very unsatisfactory and needs to be changed if COPA is to be more effective. Otherwise it is a waste of time and money. From what I have stated above, it will be evident why a government headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe will want me out of COPA and replace me with Kabir Hashim.
B2. IMF must become more than just a debt collector for private creditors – C Gunawardena
Private creditors, such as the world’s largest asset manager Blackrock,
must face the consequences of the risks they took.
People must protect themselves from poor local governance
and the imperfect global economic order.
The Annual Meeting of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) in Washington DC, this October, will discuss issues of global concern. Debt justice should be at the top of their agenda.
Sri Lanka and many other nations classified as lower-middle-income countries by the WBG are not developing, and the financial tools that are being provided to help them develop and reform prove to be unsuitable. These countries are falling behind on a range of socioeconomic indicators and cannot repay debt. In Sri Lanka’s case the causes are both internal and external.
There is worldwide consensus on internal causes, that poor governance, high corruption and economic mismanagement contributes to Sri Lanka’s external debt crisis. The lack of comprehensive and wide-scale political reforms perpetuates these problems.
External causes of Sri Lanka’s sovereign debt crisis – The IMF and the WBG, global multilateral institutions, are cornerstones of the financial system designed at the end of WW2. They facilitate global economic corporation and protect the interests of wealthy nations. The cataclysmic inequality that defines our planet is intrinsic to systemic factors. Exploitation and debt crises are its inevitable by-product. Debt is a tool of control within the system. The system isn’t broken. It is designed to function like that.
These imperfections of the global economic order exacerbate Sri Lanka’s debt crisis.
The existing system is geared to ensure as many poor countries borrow money from commercial money markets, an idea that has been ‘legitimised’ through financialisation of the global economy. Half of Sri Lanka’s sovereign debts are to private creditors.
Multilateral institutions are in principle important organisations, but only if they are mandated to secure global economic stability whilst improving the wellbeing of all people and the planet. Without agreement for this vision by all donor nations, particularly the USA that creates the global reserve currency, the necessary funding and policies have never materialised.
The continued underfunding of multilateral institutions is a political choice by developed countries and not borne of economic necessity. Since the global financial crisis of 2008, there was a huge infusion of liquidity into the international commercial money markets at near-zero interest rates. None of these funds found its way into multilateral institutions in the required scale. This has contributed to the global sovereign debt crisis faced by nearly 53 poor countries today. These nations borrowed and tied themselves into a debt trap, because borrowing from private creditors had become ‘legitimised’.
Both the IMF and WBG have recognised the economic, fiscal and environmental crises the global economy now faces. But missing from their analysis is that the current conditionalities they impose contribute to the crisis of growing poverty and hunger of developing nations.
Worryingly, there seems to be an unquestioning agreement among people with political and economic influence in Sri Lanka that the IMF, in its current guise, can provide a sustainable solution to the nation’s debt crisis, despite the 16 previously failed attempts. It cannot, without reform.
Were multilateral institutions asleep on their watch? – Private investors seeking high yields switched their funds en masse to emerging markets during a decade of low interest rates in the western world. To many seasoned observers, the imminent sovereign debt crisis was clear to see. The emergence of the pandemic and trade sanctions against Russia accelerated the crisis to the critical levels they are today.
Sovereign debt restructuring negotiations are complex, and require the participation of all multilateral institutions, bilateral lenders and private creditors to agree on a solution.
Sovereign debt is the only category of debt without a bankruptcy mechanism and the international community has relied on the contractual approach to prevent and resolve sovereign debt problems. Despite known difficulties in voluntarily engaging private creditors in debt restructuring negotiations, multilateral organisations failed to facilitate effective solutions and legislative changes that would force private creditors to participate.
Public policy has been designed by special financial interests and the political will to make the necessary legal reforms is absent in the USA and UK, countries under whose laws most sovereign bonds are governed. The courts in these locations are often less favourable to sovereign governments.
Yet, the IMF encouraged countries of the developing world to issue International Sovereign Bonds (ISBs) without the necessary safeguards or adequate transparency in the global financial system.
Sri Lanka was able to reach a preliminary agreement with the IMF for a 48-month Extended Fund Facility of $2.9billion. The loan is intended to restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability, to unlock the growth potential in the economy. Given the scale of the nation’s overall economic crisis, this is an insignificant sum to set the country on a sustainable recovery path. Unfortunately, the IMF appears to be acting only as a debt collector or de-risking agent to encourage private creditors to join the restructuring negotiations.
With such high levels of borrowing from private creditors, Sri Lanka should look after its national interests by calling out unfair rules that are stacked against them.
Private creditors must bear the consequences of their risky lending practices – Private creditors are unfairly benefiting from both high yields and high protection at the expense of the Sri Lankan people.
There is insufficient transparency for private creditor loans. They fail to show which specific projects are funded or whether these projects would generate a recurring income to pay back their interest and capital. Their intentions of aggressive profiteering were clearly demonstrated by repeatedly failing to engage in the debt restructuring programs of other debtor nations.
Private creditors, such as the world’s largest asset manager Blackrock, must face the consequences of the risks they took. The risks were clear for all to see.
Following Sri Lanka’s historic bond scam of 2015, shockwaves were sent through the government treasuries market and $3.4billion of government securities held by foreigners were divested away from Sri Lanka. Government ISBs were issued to rebuild foreign reserves. Private creditors seeking high returns purchased them despite the surrounding risky landscape.
The lack of robust fiscal management by the Sri Lankan Government was also well-known. Tax intake was dangerously low and the scale of political corruption was unacceptably high.
Responsible borrowing is equally important as responsible lending. Conducing inadequate due diligence on the credit-worthiness of the borrower is both irresponsible and risky. Now that these risks have materialised private creditors should bear the losses.
The people of Sri Lanka cannot be held responsible for the repayment of any odious debts. The debts owed to private creditors should therefore be cancelled.
Mitigating risks posed by the imperfect global economic system – Like all developing countries operating within an imperfect global financial system, Sri Lanka needs access to foreign credit facilities to purchase essential goods & services that cannot be produced locally. But the country can face harmful long-term economic, social and environmental consequences by blindly engaging in this system without taking any mitigating steps to reduce risk.
For example, these could be considered:
Critically reviewing IMF Debt Sustainability Analysis framework: As a sovereign country Sri Lanka should have a Debt Sustainability plan of its own, open to public scrutiny, that focuses on the wellbeing of its people and environment. Because the IMF does not share their methodology used for its own DSA, this is a means by which Sri Lanka can then ensure the IMF-DSA considers the country’s priorities.
Collaborating with G77 for the redistribution of $650bn new special drawing rights (SDR): Sri Lanka should collaborate with the G77, a loose alliance of developing nations, to promote a common development agenda, including accessing allocations lying in the accounts of developed countries that could be used as a short-term facility for Sri Lanka.
Reclassifying as a lower-income country: Sri Lanka with an annual per capita income of just $3,800, is now rated as a lower-middle-income country, a rating that excludes it from accessing multilateral loans. Due to the scale of economic hardships endured by its people, Sri Lanka should be calling to be reclassified as a low-income country, and away from commercial money markets.
Gaining larger concessional financing: Sri Lanka should be given emergency funding similar to the one granted to Ukraine. Borrowing from appropriately funded multilateral institutions is most favourable due to low interest rates and longer payment periods. Bilateral loans are less favourable because lender governments may have geopolitical ambitions that can harm sovereignty. It is vitally important for Sri Lanka to have a genuinely non-aligned position in the geopolitical battles between larger nations to obtain support from as many countries as possible.
Restructuring multilateral & bilateral debt: Call on the IMF to lead the debt restructuring negotiations by prioritising the needs of local people and the environment.
Cancelling private creditor debt: Call for a large haircut to private creditor debts or declare these odious debts null and void. Borrowing from commercial money markets (holding ISBs), should always be avoided. By their nature, these opaque loans are open to corruption both on lender and borrower sides. With inadequate visibility of final beneficiaries of ISB’s it is not possible to assess whether politically connected persons in Sri Lanka benefit from these loans.
Requesting bankruptcy mechanism for sovereign governments & debt relief initiative: Encourage India, the next G20 chair, a strategic multilateral platform connecting the world’s major developed and emerging economies, to call for a formal bankruptcy mechanism for sovereign governments.
Campaigning for legislative reforms for sovereign debt agreements with private creditors: Make it compulsory for uncooperative private creditors to participate in debt restructuring negotiations.
Sri Lanka has enough human capital and natural resources that can be fully harnessed to embark on a sustainable recovery path that’s underpinned by entrepreneurship, social justice and ecological conservation. The IMF should support a sustainable solution to Sri Lanka’s external debt crisis proposed by a legitimate government which has the mandate of the people. Fundamental to all this are the comprehensive and wide-scale local political reforms needed to establish honest politics, good governance, and economic competence. The door to a better, sustainable future can be opened. The key to it is firmly in the hands of ordinary voters of Sri Lanka.– http://www.ft.lk/columns/IMF-must-become-more-than-just-a-debt-collector-for-private-creditors/4-740850
B3. Jesus Saves & So Does Templeton
‘Someone with tons of money can set the terms of discussion’
John Templeton was proclaimed as ‘one of the great architects of globalization – ‘the dean of global investing’ (Forbes).
Advertised as ‘a devout Presbyterian-born’, raised in rural Tennessee, John M Templeton launched his ‘mutual funds’ (later Franklin Templeton Investments) in the 1950s. With assets now valued in several billions, the Templeton Foundation (TF) ranks among the richest 25 foundations in the USA, between the Rockefeller Foundation and the Open Society Institute. TF dispenses about $70million in grants annually, focusing on ‘religion and science’.
Wrangling (like cattle) such issues as religion and science lights up its glowing aura: Templeton is also ‘a longstanding donor’ to capitalist economic thinktanks like the Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute.
Templeton renounced his US citizenship in 1964, to evade taxes. He was given dual naturalised Bahamian and English citizenship to live in the Bahamas.
He started mass financing his ‘religious values’ in 1972, creating the Templeton Prize for Progress toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities. Templeton wanted a prize bigger than the Nobel Prize in monetary value, now totals almost $1.5million – the world’s largest annual monetary prize – and is awarded in Buckingham Palace. Previous winners include Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Charles W Colson, the born-again Watergate convict.
‘A striking feature’ of the list of Templeton Prize winners of ‘the last 12 years, two-thirds of winners were Board members or very active with Templeton before their big win’.
The Templeton Prize usually goes to ‘a scientist who is prepared to say something nice about religion’, says ‘atheist’ critic Richard Dawkins. Though Dawkins et al could very well be part of the media ‘cultural’ game of promoting (‘wrangling’, ‘triangulating’?) intractable binaries and forever diversions.
Templeton prize winner can even get to speak at the Royal Society, one of the England’s oldest scientific institutions, with expenses paid by the Templeton Foundation. Media coverage is guaranteed by National Public Radio, ABC News, BBC, NYTimes, Washington Post, etc, whose staff are provided with generous Templeton Fellowships. Cambridge-Templeton Journalism Fellowships ‘enable up to 12 journalists annually to investigate one of the leading topics of our time: the relationship between science and religion.’ Attending journalists got $15,000. Many other ‘prizes’ for artists, academics, theological researchers, filmmakers, etc.
In 1987 Margaret Thatcher had Templeton knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. That year he set up the John Templeton Foundation for ‘spiritual and moral progress through the use of scientific methods’.
In 1996 Charles Harper, planetary scientist from Harvard and NASA, expert in cosmology and theology from Oxford, was made TF’s executive director, and ‘shaped John Templeton’s dream into a package of programs that could begin to look credible to the scientific community’. By 2004 ‘the name of the prize changed. It was no longer for religion, but for ‘progress about research or discoveries towards spiritual realities’.
John Templeton died in July 2008 at 95. In May 2009, less than a year after Templeton’s death, Harper was fired.
Privatizing Social Security – His son John Templeton Jr proclaimed himself an ‘Evangelical’. He set up Let Freedom Ring (LFR) to raise money to help Bush in the 2000 election and beyond. LFR would uphold ‘the sanctity of life,’ (opposing abortion, stem-cell research etc), while promoting the US War on Iraq. JT Jr got LFR to also promote the ‘Templeton Curve,’ a graph he designed to advocate privatizing Social Security. His Templeton curve apparently drove President Bush’s pension privatization strategy.
LFR also supported the Tea Party movement and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth & Freedom Watch. In 2008 he ‘gave’ about $1million to support California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage.
Templeton funds organizations promoting ‘open markets’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ . TF funded the Heritage Foundation (over $1mn, 2005-8), and Cato Institute (over $200,000). Templeton’s charter stipulates that the chief executives of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation and the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty are entitled to be members of the foundation, receiving $100,000s in Templeton grants. Those organizations also receive contributions from Big Oil and take part in the campaign to (set, shape, divert, distort) ‘the scientific consensus on global warming’.
The Promotion of Scientific Doubt – ‘For the often-fledgling, cash-strapped areas it funds, nothing else can compete’: TF supports the annual World Science Festival in New York. TF takes out ‘lavish ads in magazines & newspapers to showcase handpicked intellectuals answering ‘Big Questions’ about God, science and markets’.
Glossy full-page and sometimes two-page spreads were bought in mainstream and scientific publications, including Scientific American, American Scientist, Nature, The New Scientist, The Atlantic Monthly, Commentary, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Economist, The Financial Times, The New Republic, Prospect, The Sunday New York Times, and Skeptic.
They provided gloss for Templeton-funded NGOs: psychiatrist David Larson’s National Institute for Healthcare Research. Bioethicist Stephen Post’s Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. Sociologist Margaret Poloma, director of the Flame of Love Project, got $2.3mn to establish ‘a new interdisciplinary science of Godly Love,’ to focus on Pentecostal tradition. MIT physicist Max Tegmark received $8.8mn to set up the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi), which funds first-rate scientists to explore basic problems about time, space and the origin of the universe.
‘Templeton has a history of seeding fields of study almost from scratch. After the foundation’s funding for research on forgiveness began in 1997, the number of psychology journal articles on the subject went from fewer than 50 per year to more than 100 in 2000 and nearly 250 in 2008. When Templeton first financed Larson’s NIHR in the early 1990s, the number of medical schools with courses on religion could be counted on one latex glove. Now, according to Dr Christina Puchalski of Templeton-funded George Washington Institute for Spirituality & Health, three-quarters of US medical schools have brought spirituality into their curriculums.’
‘For those who work on matters of spirituality and science today, Templeton is around every turn, active in disciplines from biology and cosmology to philosophy and theology. Many leading scholars speak of it with a tone of caution; some who have not applied for grants expect to do so in the future, while a few have taken a principled stand against doing so.’ (see: journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/147470491100900111)
C. News Index______________________________________________
• ee News Index provides headlines & links to make sense of the weekly focus of published English ‘business news’ to expose the backwardness of multinational, corporate controlled ‘local media’:
(ee is pro-politics, pro-politician, pro-nation-state, anti-corporatist, anti-expert, anti-NGO)
ee Sovereignty news emphasizes sovereignty as economic sovereignty – a strong nation is built on modern (machine-making) industrialization fueled by a producer culture.
• Central Bank declines to accept Russian Mir Payment System
‘Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe has declined to approve it on two occasions. Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga said discussions are underway to facilitate ruble – rupee transactions between People’s Bank and a Russian Bank.’.
• CBSL affirms will not join Russia’s MIR
• Govt. to allocate land on long-term lease for selected investors
• Aeroflot returns to Sri Lanka after 4-month hiatus
• SL abstains from UN vote condemning Russia’s ’annexation’ of parts of Ukraine
• State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya leads SL’s delegation to 6th CICA Summit in Kazakhstan
‘sixth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Astana, Kazakhstan from 12-13 October 2022,’
• The US is the biggest gang in the world: It is built on Gangs – Tupac
• International probe on economic crimes and corruption
‘The IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has publicly declared that mismanagement was the main cause for the unprecedented collapse of the Sri Lanka’s economy. An IMF delegation that worked on an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Sri Lanka has acknowledged there was corruption and called for deterrent measures. A few western governments, therefore, have chosen to aid Sri Lanka through agencies of the United Nations to avoid funds ending up in the pockets of politicians.’
• US eyes Sri Lanka crisis with twisted excitement – Global Times
‘Sri Lanka has become the first country to announce default on its foreign debt in the 21st century’
• Sri Lankan expatriates seek US support
‘the Sri Lanka-America Association, in the State of Nevada, and the Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce, with Washington lawmakers and policymakers such as Senator Catherine Cotez-Masto’
• Norway Embassy Departs, Solheim enters Sri Lanka, Raises Eyebrows
• Solheim, Nasheed appointed Climate Advisers to President RW
‘Executive Director of the UN Environmental Programme in 2018, Solheim was forced to resign following his global travels and internal rule-breaking, which led some nations to withhold funding.’
• Ganiya Bannister in Swiss Embassy case raised objections against the charges
• Travel ban on military personnel; Canada to name three officers, others to follow suit
• Justice Minister hits out at SL’s foreign policy and foreign service following UNHRC vote
• Sri Lanka among 42 countries blacklisted by UN for human rights violations
• UNHRC’s vote against past leaders, not against Lanka – Sunday Times
‘if not for their patron saints at the Office of the Human Rights Commission, together with Western Democracies and similar nations, who still bother to promote, protect and defend their human rights against their Governments, they would have had none to espouse their untold plight and would have been left totally at the mercy of their political masters. Slaves that the world forgot.’
• India reconfirms enemy-status – Seneviratne
• Sri Lanka should work with India to develop Trincomalee as strategic harbor – President
• Trincomalee District Strategic Development Plan not targeting elections, but a project to benefit future generations – President
• Geneva 2022 meltdown and the coming contradiction with India – Jayatilleka
‘Wickremesinghe is engaging in the high-risk gamble that he can trade-off chunks of economic real estate to Indian corporate interests while allowing the Sinhala hawks to carve out chunks of the historical habitat of the Tamil people in the North and East and unilaterally alter the area’s demography.’
• Modi is the only leader who can solve the issues of ‘Eelam Tamils’, BJP claims
• Geneva resolution: England’s Global Tamil Forum (GTF) disappointed over Lanka’s response; appreciates India’s efforts
• From the May Fourth Movement of 1919 to Galle Face Green 2022 – Sena Thoradeniya
• If UN can shut lid on China’s Uighurs, why not wind up bogus allegations against Sri Lanka? – Waduge
• Time to identify our friends and enemies
• The Geopolitics Of Voting At UNHRC On Resolution Against Sri Lanka – Analysis
‘only one African country, Malawi and one Asian country, South Korea, among the 20 that went along with the US-led Western alliance in the Council’
• Statesmanship need of hour – USAID NPC
‘Countries that voted for the resolution, and those who abstained, such as India and Japan, essentially have the welfare of all Sri Lankans and the country to live up to its inherent resilience. We can only hope that the confrontational attitude taken by the government in Geneva will not affect their continued support for SL’
• Cause of Geneva resolutions needs to be addressed – USAID NPC
‘Tragically, the idealism of the Aragalaya, that sought a system change, has been crushed and suppressed by those who fight a rearguard action to preserve their feudal entitlements and access to corruptly obtained wealth.’
• Talks commence on reforming ‘politicised’ diplomatic service
• Sri Lanka: Human Rights Compliant Recovery Measures Critical to Stop Spiraling Hunger & Poverty – Amnesty International
• Anti-Terror Agency Conducts Searches Against LTTE Supporters In Tamil Nadu
• Tamil Nadu: No default bail to Lanka nationals linked to LTTE
• Easter Sunday probe: Zuhair warns of Western powers using opportunity to step up pressure in Geneva
• If Sri Lanka can invite US FBI and UK M16 to investigate Easter attacks, why not permit UNHRC also?
• Crimea bridge blast: When terrorism is not terrorism
• Ahmadiyya Delegation Meets Hon. (Dr.) Bandula Gunawardena
• U.S. asks travellers to India to exercise ‘increased caution’ due to crime, terrorism
‘“The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in rural areas from eastern Maharashtra and northern Telangana through western West Bengal as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorisation to travel to these areas,” said the travel advisory.’
• Indian Navy to join Exercise Malabar in Japan next month
• Yunnan: China’s Bridge to South and Southeast Asia (2016)
‘The land-locked province shares international borders with Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam… it is also a potential alternative for engagement with South Asia, with Myanmar as a buffer state.’
• N.Korea’s UN envoy slams US for joint military drills with Seoul
• Japan, US Conduct Joint Military Exercises Using HIMARS Systems – Reports
• Dirty Money: Meet the US Agent Driving the CIA-Led Riots in Iran
‘a full-timer for VOA Persia – or, Voice of America, Persia – Washington’s propaganda mouthpiece funded directly by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a soft power arm of the empire fully funded by US Congress, made to capitalize on harmful narratives in favor of Washington’s corporatocracy.’
• UAE president met Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Tuesday
• Saudi Arabia calls out US bluster
• Israel authorizes military to kill Palestinians with drones in the West Bank
• Israel’s Detention of Palestinian Minors: a Horror Show
• Palestinian factions sign reconciliation agreement in Algeria
• ‘White Malice’: USA’s attempt to re-colonialise Africa
• 15 asylum seekers killed on Libyan coast
• Haiti: Nuff gold, plenty oil and bad juju (2021)
‘30 US-trained Colombian terrorists took part in the July 7 cowardly attack’
• Haiti calls for foreign military intervention as violence rages
‘A weeks-long gang blockade of Haiti’s main fuel port also has paralysed much of the nation, spurring acute shortages.’
• To Solve the Crisis Permanently, Force US to Stop Backing Notorious White Warlords in Haiti
• Reject Calls for More Foreign Intervention in Haiti
• Haitians attack properties of wealthy high-ranking officials
• Testimony: Temwayaj Kout Kouto, 1937: Eyewitnesses to the Genocide
• Dominican Republic: President Abinader’s Anti-Haitianism
• Venezuela rejects illegal sale of Citgo shares in the U.S.
‘”purported judicial sale” of the shares of the state-owned company Citgo Petroleum belonging to Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).’
• Venezuelan president announces Indigenous Movement Congress next month
• Mexico files new lawsuit against U.S. gun dealers
• Serbia, Hungary agree to build pipeline to supply Russian oil to Belgrade
• Hungary pro-peace, PM says Orbán: EU sanctions policy ‘primitive, catastrophic’
• Before Ukraine blew up Kerch Bridge, English spies plotted it
• Lukashenko, Putin agree on deployment of joint regional group of forces
• Russia, Having ‘Run Out Of Missiles’, Launches Barrage On Ukraine
• The curious silence surrounding the Baltic gas bubbles
‘The ‘Straussians’ are the followers of Leo Strauss, the leading neo-con theorist. Many are former Trotskyists who morphed over, from Left to Right (call them Neocon ‘hawks’ if you prefer). Their message is a very simple doctrine about the maintenance of power: ‘Never let it slip’; block any rival from emerging; do whatever it takes.’
• The USA Needs To Change Course Right Now in Ukraine | Opinion
‘the United Nations, for instance, cannot be a trusted, neutral arbiter or supervisor of anything.’
• The CIA Thought Putin Would Quickly Conquer Ukraine. Why Did They Get It So Wrong?
• German Train Sabotage on Sunday Morning
• Poland Escalates War in Europe with Nuclear Bomb Threat To Kremlin
• US Loses the Electric War In The Ukraine
‘This won’t be like the blackouts from US sanctions and attacks in Cuba or Venezuela – there they didn’t have to worry about freezing to death, the pipes bursting, or irreparable damage being done to billions of dollars’ worth of pumping, electrical, and other equipment due to freezing.’
• KGB chief expects turning point in special operation in Ukraine in November-February
• Russian intelligence begins work in Ukraine with a clean slate
• A perfect storm in US foreign policy
‘Without doubt, this is a tectonic shift in geopolitics which may probably turn out to be more important than the conflict in Ukraine in the making of the multipolar world order.’
• The Historic Forces Behind NATO’s War on Russia
• Two Lavrov Interviews: Argumenty i Fakty 8 October and CBS’s “60 Minutes” 11 October
• Misguided Foreign Policies Against Russia And Others Damage The U.S. And Its ‘Allies’
• The Crimean Bridge Attack – This Is How the Operation Worked to The Point of Detonation
• The Global South’s assertion in geopolitics
• Trump Calls for Peace in Ukraine; Democrats Make Support for War Midterm Campaign Issue
C2. Security (the state beyond ‘a pair of handcuffs’, monopolies of legitimate violence)
ee Security section focuses on the state (a pair of handcuffs, which sposedly has the monopoly of legitimate violence), and how the ‘national security’ doctrine is undermined by private interests, with no interest in divulging or fighting the real enemy, whose chief aim is to prevent an industrial renaissance as the basis of a truly independent nation.
• A forgotten episode: Black Sea Tiger raid on Colombo port
• European Union Funds Mediation Boards Commission with Ministry of Justice
‘Launched at the British Council, with Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Minister of Justice;, Wasantha Perera, Secretary, Ministry of Justice; Priyanath Perera, Secretary, Mediation Boards Commission; Justice Yapa, Chairperson, Mediation Boards Commission; Commissioners of the Mediation Boards Commission; Denis Chaibi, the Ambassador of the European Union to Sri Lanka; Sarah Hulton, English High Commissioner; Adrian Chadwick, South Asia Regional Director, British Council; Maarya Rehman, Country Director, British Council; and Dinesha De Silva, Country Representative, The Asia Foundation’
• Navy vessel on ‘intelligence’ mission disappears with several personnel
• Bond scam: Charges against Mahendran, Aloysius & other accused dropped
• Five protesters arrested at Galle Face Green granted bail
• Human Rights Commission (HRCSL) directs IGP to report on Police action at Galle Face
• Joseph Stalin goes to National Child Protection Authority against police
• ‘Do not use children as human shields in protests’ – National Child Protection Authority (NCPA)
• Protest justified, but No to toddlers used as human shields – Editorial
• BASL President threatens cops with legal action
• Police officers will have to pay for their illegal activities: BASL Chief
• IGP urged to arrest cops who obstructed protest: Young Journalists’ Association
• Sri Lanka: Authorities’ crackdown on protest rights must end – Amnesty International
• Train Police on psychological and ethical aspects of behaviour: Medical Professionals of Sri Lanka for System Change
• Police begin registration of householders in city; defend move as security measure
• President promotes 7,499 Army personnel
• Southern Province to get new police division to tackle crimes
• Heavy fines and jail terms for those who violate Rehab Act
• Sabry questions insistence of interested parties to cremate bodies of Covid-19 victims
• Prison break gone wrong – Inmate explains
‘inmate disappeared from Welikada found at the Colombo Remand prison…this escaped prisoner is good at climbing coconut trees as well as dancing in a dance group.’
• Main suspect in Ahungalla shooting incident shot dead by STF
• Inquiry into prisoner’s death from falling into hot cauldron
• Youth arrested with six swords in car; three suspects flee
• Gnanasara Thera skips Court; arrest warrant issued for hurting Muslim community
• Easter Sunday attacks: CoA directs Fort Magistrate to halt action against ex Pres Srisena
• Tirade satellite jammer
‘Russian military in the near future can get into service systems that can disable enemy communication satellites’
• Prisoners at for-profit US ICE jail stage hunger strike to protest inhumane conditions
• US Private Prison Industry – Profiting from Exploitation and Suffering
• Biden’s Marijuana Policy Frees No One
‘The US is the world’s biggest jailer, with more than 2 million people behind bars, and that the various “wars on drugs” contributed to this dubious distinction.’
C3. Economists (Study the Economists before you study the Economics)
ee Economists shows how paid capitalist/academic ‘professionals’ confuse (misdefinitions, etc) and divert (with false indices, etc) from the steps needed to achieve a modern industrial country.
• Some Lessons on Planning for the 21st Century from the World’s First Socialist Economy
‘Under Lenin, the state introduced a monopoly on foreign trade and foreign currency transactions; nationalized land, industrial enterprises, transport, and banks; banned the private trade of essential products; introduced general labor conscription; and advanced workers’ control over the production and distribution of vital products’
• Truth: Bankruptcy, IMF agreement and our future: Shiran Illaperuma & Sanka Chandima
‘Exploring the truth about the bankruptcy, the way we negotiated or rather not negotiated with the IMF to have the agreement we have now. We also discussed how SL can change the direction we are heading and what we should expect in the future.’
• Global & National Economic Crisis – Illanperuma & Kariyawasam go to Marx School
• When IMF decides we cannot print money, then what is going to happen?
• Strained emerging economies in focus at IMF World Bank meeting, Oct 10-15: Reuters
‘heavy exposure to Chinese lending could complicate matters’
• Act Now, Act Together – IMF Chief
• State Finance Minister attends G24 Ministerial Meet during IMF/WB Annual Meetings in USA
• IMF downgrades growth projections for Sri Lanka
• Looking for ways to expand donor coordination to countries like SL – IMF
• World Bank: SL has to improve governance, do transformational reforms to overcome crisis
• Sri Lanka’s creditworthiness discussed with World Bank VP
• World Bank assures to support Sri Lanka’s recovery, sustainable growth
‘new concessional funding requested by SL would remain linked to reforms, the progress of debt restructuring, and the program agreed with the IMF…on the current creditworthiness of SL, … no longer entitled to source funding through the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The process will entail a ‘reverse graduation’ to International Development Association (IDA), which will move SL from an IBRD-only country to an IDA country. However SL will remain listed as a middle-income country… sustained improvements in economic and social conditions by the Government could pave the way for Sri Lanka to graduate from IDA in the future.’
• IMF pushing for effective solution for distressed debt
• Sri Lankan delegation to Washington D.C meets with IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director
• IMF, WB says new concessionary financing for Sri Lanka linked to deep reforms
• Climate protests disrupt ongoing World Bank Summit in DC
• Sabry reveals state coffers had dipped to USD 17 million when he took over as finance minister
• Cabinet was not aware of the economic crisis – Ali Sabry
• Sri Lanka’s new “painful” reforms won’t be reversed – State FinMin
• COPA: Tissa Vitarana out Kabir Hashim in. Why?
‘many of the largest companies, including a major private bank, had not paid any income tax for six to seven years.’
• COPE and COPA: Religious leaders, wake up
• Petition seeking an order to reveal Int’l Monetary Fund deal fixed for support
‘Ven. Pahiyangala Anandasagara Thera and social activist Ravi Kumudesh had filed this petition’
• Chartered Accountants SL urges accounting profession to take lead in transforming economy
• 7th Central Bank monetary review (O6)
• Debt restructuring, deep reforms critical for Sri Lanka: WB
• IMF Demands New Banking Act along with a Monetary Law Act to control Central Bank
• Paris Club ready for close coordination with China, India on Sri Lanka debt talks – source
• CB to launch study to assess banks’ need for fresh capital
• Sri Lanka banks to be re-capitalized based diagnostic study: Deputy Governor
• CB Governor warns of business collapse if inflation not controlled and interest rate lowered
• ‘Former govt.’s currency printing spree, chief among reasons for economic debacle’ – CB Governor
• CB refutes claims that higher rates put strain on government funding
• Assistant Governor & Secretary to Monetary Board Daulagala promoted CB Deputy Governor
• SL balance of payment deficit on an easing path after tight policies contain trade deficit
• Cabinet nod given to voluntarily downgrade SL’s income status
‘so the crisis-stricken country can gain concessionary funding from the International Development Association (IDA), which is the World Bank (WB) that helps the poorest and vulnerable nations’
• Sri Lanka to request World Bank to be a Gap country
• President’s office strikes at Bandula, says SL will remain ’middle income’
• Sri Lanka to keep ‘middle-income’ status but seek concessional loans
• Digital platform to receive people’s opinion on economic stabilization: Champika
• Sajith tells President to get facts right on Japan
• Corruption: White Paper on tough new law made public
• Efforts of AG, COPE in vain: No action against wrongdoers
• GL: Govt. not concerned about corruption despite Geneva warning
• Taxation Institute fetes Inland Revenue Commissioner
‘the relationship between the tax consultant and the Inland Revenue Department.
• Australians arrested over alleged SMEC International bribes for SL lucrative contracts
• Ex-COPE Head: Electoral reforms ploy to postpone LG polls
• Sajith: controls on import of raw materials had led to the decapitation of domestic industries
• Sri Lanka President calls for steady national policies
• There is no such person as ‘one-armed economist’ – Jayampathy Molligoda
‘“Will raising interest rates lead to more oil, lower prices of oil, more food, lower prices of food? Answer is clearly not”.
• Reviving the economy despite severe shortages of external finances – Sanderatne
‘Most production activities have a dependence on imported raw materials for their production…
The root cause of the economic under performance has been the inability to import essential raw materials and energy shortages due to a severe shortage of foreign currency.’
• Economic crimes and the challenge of community medicine practitioners: W.A. Wijewardena
• IMF must become more than just a debt collector for private creditors – C. Gunawardena
• A survival strategy amidst geopolitical rivalry – Neville Ladduwahetty
• Surviving an Economic Crisis: Nihal Hennanayake Head of Department of Business Economics, Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo
‘from the perspective of an economist I suggest people spend money on non-liquid assets such as land, building, commercial crops, where they can secure the value of the money. On the other hand these types of investments will definitely help recover the economy.’
• The JRJ Cabinet and Finance Minister Ronnie de Mel
• Dismantle restrictive business laws, disband SOEs: Ra Jayasuriya
• Real Debt Trap: Sri Lanka Owes Vast Majority to West, Not to China
• Thailand currency crisis’ central bank blunder explained to Sri Lanka
• Inherited problems that led to Sri Lanka’s economic crisis – C.P. Chandrasekhar (April 22)
• Neoliberalism and the Sri Lanka Economic Crisis – Prabhat Patnaik (May 18)
‘While everybody would agree that the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government must take responsibility for the collapse, there is much disagreement on where exactly the government’s culpability lies.’
• PPP model better option for public enterprises with strategic importance – German expert
‘Hergenröther, a German economic expert with speacial knowledge about Asia…As the former Chief Delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka…’ (see Germany, below)
• How Big Business Makes Everything LESS Efficient
• A strong dollar is wreaking havoc on emerging markets. A debt crisis could be next
• US-funded Advocata Institute wins 2022 US Asia Liberty Award
• Why Falling Rupee Could Tank India’s Economy
• How China steadily advances RMB internationalization
• The Rhetoric and Reality of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – A View from China
‘the United States is at once advancing a kind of miniature military NATO in the Asia-Pacific region, and building up an Asia-Pacific economic NATO, both of which it would dominate’
• Blow Up the Global Trading System – Prestowitz, led first US 1982 trade mission to China
‘Yes, really. U.S. and international efforts to stop Beijing’s economic onslaught haven’t worked. It’s time for President Biden to go big’
• IMF Won’t Talk About Price Control, Only about Raising Interest Rates to Control Inflation
‘Raising interest rates is of no use in controlling inflation. Inflation will be controlled only when the policies of price control are made. Prior to the year 1990, the policies of price control were adopted to control inflation. But since neoliberal policies have been implemented all over the world, the policies of price control are not adopted to control inflation.’
• Lebanon’s Currency Crisis: New Exchange Rate Policy to Cause Massive Hardship
• Militarism, hubris, plunder, and the coming economic storm!
• Chilean Congress approves entry into Trans-Pacific Partnership
‘some provisions of the agreement infringe on the sovereignty of the State and the freedom to make decisions regarding the investment of transnational companies.’
• Empire and Economics: The Long History of Debt-Cancelation from Antiquity to Today
• Michael Hudson: A roadmap to escape the west’s stranglehold
‘Holding securities denominated in dollars, and even holding gold or investments in the US and Europe, is no longer a safe option. It is clear the world is breaking into two quite different types of economies’
• Shock therapy on the world economy – Roberts
• System Change, Class War, & the WW2 Economic Conversion Experience – Marty Hart-Landsberg
• World Bank’s Malpass, IMF’s Georgieva see rising risks of global recession
• IMF, WB see rising risks of global recessions
• IMF cuts 2023 global growth forecast, says worst yet to come
• IMF warns of slowing growth, rising market risks as finance officials meet
• UNDP says 54 countries including Sri Lanka need immediate debt relief
• Top rating agency Fitch warns of deeper recession in England, downgrades growth forecast
• Geopolitics And Climate Change: England chooses the Argentina Option
• Regime change plot in England. Dark times ahead
• Tulsi Gabbard and The World Economic Forum — The Whole Story
• US trio, including ex-Fed Chief Bernanke, win Economics Nobel
C4. Economy (Usually reported in monetary terms)
ee Economy section shows how media usually measures economy by false indices like GDP, etc., in monetary terms, confusing money and capital, constantly calling for privatization, deregulation, moaning about debt & balance of payments, without stating the need for modern industrial production.
• Military, economic and food are all components of a country’s security: President
• Sri Lanka aims to raise up to US $ 3bn from SoE sell-downs to prop up reserves
• Economic positivity intact: LMD-NielsenIQ Business Confidence Index (BCI)
• Credit to government continues to surge despite private credit crashing
• Impending recession cuts growth forecast by 7.8% in 2022
• Total government expenditure for 2022 to surpass LKR 4 trillion
• Crisis-hit Sri Lanka proposes tax hike to boost revenue
• Handunnetti warns of tax evasion due to higher rates
• Higher corporate tax threatens to cripple crucial export sector: FTZMA’s Jatinder Biala
• Free Trade Zone manufacturers oppose 30% income tax move in writing to President
• Export unit value index increased by 4.9%, its import counterpart surged by 15.4%
• Sri Lanka key current flows show surplus over imports for third month in August
• September forex reserves edge up
• Govt. gazettes Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill with income tax changes
• Sabry engages private sector on measures to boost exports
‘Over 20 chambers and export-oriented organisations: Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, National Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Exporter’s Association, Tea Trader’s Association, Apparel Exports Association & Joint Apparel Association Forum, etc.
• Do not wear excessive gold when arriving from overseas: Fin. Ministry
• Govt. loses $ 30 m monthly due to gold smugglers: State Minister
• Pound rebounds after English government reverses part of tax policy that sent it plunging
• England’s Liz Truss makes U-turn on tax cuts after sacking finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng
‘Kwarteng has officially resigned, but as his letter to Truss revealed, he was asked to quit by the prime minister and “accepted” that decision. However, he did not apologize for his policy decisions, seen by many to damage the economy, as might have been expected. Instead, he reaffirmed the policies were the result of teamwork and agreement between the leader of the country and his finance department.
• Kwasi Kwarteng: PM’s vision was right, says sacked chancellor
• US mortgage interest rates rise to highest level since 2006
C5. Workers (Inadequate Stats, Wasteful Transport, Unmodern Plantations, Services)
ee Workers attempts to correct the massive gaps and disinformation about workers, urban and rural and their representatives (trade unions, etc), and to highlight the need for organized worker power
• US Embassy Free Market Lottery: Have patience; continue trying for 2024 Diversity program
• Govt. requests for ILO support to establish labour workforce digital database
• No tax on worker remittances – Minister
• Import and Export Control Act to pave way for migrant workers to import electrical vehicles.
• Railway drivers launch strike
• Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) warns legal action
• “I received deaths threats for speaking for Wasantha Mudalige”: Vedda Chief
• Stop taking action against dancing teachers: WP Zonal Edu. Director tells Ministry
• One-time allowance for families of missing persons increased
• Cabinet nod to increase maternity leave allowance for female Post Masters
• Nearly 10 m Sri Lankans affected by poverty: University of Peradeniya Department of Economics and Statistics
• 10 rotties, soft bottle of drink auctioned for Rs. 10,000 in Matale
• Ceylon Labour Union celebrates 100th Anniversary
‘The ‘Pothe Gurus’ (book pundits) delving deeply into the books of Karl Marx and others on socialism etc. came at a later date”’
• Economic crisis hits the sex industry – charges of women and men go up: Daily Mirror ‘undercover story’
• Cardinal denounces Christmas boru shoke after blessing new church
• President’s ‘Leave No One Behind’ initiative receives 2.3 m applications
• Optional retirement age reduced to 55 for SOE employees
• Engaging Sathosa employees in political work
• GMOA: 500 doctors have already migrated, 800 on their way out
• Increasing taxes force IT professionals to migrate: Computer Society
• Sri Lanka’s tax hike could force professionals to migrate – financial analysts
• Expat SL workers send more money
• Sri Lanka remittances slightly up in September 2022
• Foreign Employment Minister boasts of export of workers but unconcerned about brain drain
• Jobs galore for IT skilled youths in Romania: Ambassador
• Over 241,034 Sri Lankans leave the country for greener pastures this year
• Setting up global universities’ campuses locally could stem ‘dollar drain’- ICBM Campus strategist
• Over sixty migrants, at Diego Garcia sent to Sri Lanka – England
• Being a refugee in Lanka amid a biting economic downturn
• Sri Lankan women call for stronger measures to protect their rights: Japan’s UN Women
‘UN Women’s three-year programme on supporting the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Sri Lanka is funded by the Government of Japan’
• Now women can also wear trousers to work – Kussi Amma Feisal
• President: Those who run orphanages have to be trained
• English: the catalyst to bring down confidence of graduate job seeker – Jayawardena
• Repression, Resistance and the University – Ahilan Kadirgamar
‘The arrests of over three thousand five hundred youth who were part of the struggle and the use of the draconian PTA to arrest three leaders of the university student movement came first.’
• Vice-Chancellors & Directors call for comprehensive strategy to eliminate ragging at universities
• Tale Of Two Aircraft
‘In 1977, immediately after the General Elections, riots broke out in the south of the island. The authorities decided to fly many of the affected citizens to Jaffna’
• The doctor whose legacy altered the medical landscape of then Ceylon
• Akbar brothers continue partnership with Colombo alumni for 2022 / 2023
• Kumaradas Maapaana Mudaliyar, the Tenth Custodian of the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil
• The changing faces of Galle Face
• Leading French union rejects wage talks as blackmail and continue oil strikes
• France orders striking fuel refinery employees back to work
• Huge Cuts in Ontario’s Public Sector Wages Predicted
• U.S. railroad workers reject proposed union contract, preparing for November strike
• Hyundai and Kia parts supplier in Alabama fined for child labor
• The Bank of England Is Bailing Out Pension Funds, Again
C6. Agriculture (Robbery of rural home market; Machines, if used, mainly imported)
ee Agriculture emphasizes the failure to industrialize an agriculture that keeps the cultivator impoverished under moneylender and merchant, and the need to develop the rural home market, monetization and commercialization, to produce, rather than import, agricultural machinery.
• FAO, IFAD, WFP renew commitment to strengthening food security in Sri Lanka
• ‘Bim Saviya’ Title Registration Act’s 24-year reign of chaos – Waduge
• Marx & Engels and Russia’s Peasant Communes
‘We live in a time of corporate global land grabs. Since the food price crisis of 2008, about 2,200 large-scale land acquisitions have been completed in developing nations, totaling 63 million hectares (131 million acres)—an area the size of California and Mississippi combined. Most of the acquisitions affected farmland that was managed as common property by small farmers, leading some analysts to describe the process as “commons grabbing.”
• President orders to provide fuel to all the farmers for Maha season
• PMB hasn’t purchased Yala yield at all – State Minister
‘the government seemed to have allowed a group of politically influential private sector millers to take over the entire paddy purchasing scheme’
• Price of wheat flour reduced by Rs. 85 from tonight: Essential Food Commodities Importers and Traders Association (EFCITA)
• Sri Lanka allows pre-payment for imported plant seeds, fertilizer
‘Import and Export Control Law allows maize, corn, bean and vegetable seeds to be pre-paid. Magnesium Sulphate, Zinc sulphate, soil conditioners, urea, calcium nitrate, MOP, TSP, NPK soluble mixtures, some insecticides will also be allowed.’
• More efforts needed to trim food loss: Dept. of National Planning
“The government and the private sector have done the necessary to increase food production and productivity methods. However, in the area of food loss our attention is not at all satisfactory,”
• Oceans silenced, communities whipped: Energy crisis on fisheries
‘As a temporary measure, the government has to ensure a regular and uninterrupted supply of kerosene to small-scale fishermen and undertake more widespread fish distribution through the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation to ensure continuous supply of fish to consuming areas’
• Fisheries Minister is to take steps to provide land for Ichchantivu villagers
• Govt. officers must not interfere in State land allocation for cultivation: PM
• President emphasizes importance of ensuring food security by cultivating all arable lands
• Govt. to release 1mn kg of detained rice from customs
• India’s Amul eyes Sri Lankan dairy market
‘Amul will be merged with five other co-operative societies to form a multi-state co-operative society.’
• ‘Memoirs of a Water Engineer’- Palitha Manchanayake
• The fiction of healthy toxins
‘The result was the complete dependence of high input crops that robbed us of crop independence.’
• Toxin gonibillas cry wolf again, wanting agrochemical ban
• Now cannabis? We spend nearly Rs. 300 billion, annually, to import food
• Dutch FMO proposes $ 10 m investment in Sri Lanka exporter Taprobane Seafoods
• Sri Lanka’s medium grown tea prices fall in September 4th-week sale
• Offering at Colombo Tea Auction increases after several weeks of depleted volumes
• Colebrooke-Cameron Commission’s Charles invested in vast coffee and rubber plantations
• Rosthchild’s de Worms were pioneers in plantation development in Ceylon
• Rubber plantation in Bentota turned into private garden
• Colonial Legacy of Exploitation Thrives Today on the PHC Oil Palm Plantations
• Meet the Investors Behind the PHC Oil Palm Plantations in DRC
• How Nature Is Becoming A Simulation
‘The lie we tell both children and adults is that we just need to be nicer and ‘more aware’ of animals, and that the problem is a few bad people, usually Black poachers or strange Chinese medicine.’
• Illegal gem mining ruins wildlife park, officials unable to act
• Hill country leopard cubs saved by Wildlife conservators
• Saving Mannar’s haven for migratory birds: Wildlife & Nature Protection Society (WNPS)
‘The magic of Mannar is fading fast though. Legal and illegal encroachment and deforestation continue as the much-debated windmills and power lines stand across its critical habitats….threaten Mannar’s very existence – not just for migrants but also for those who called this ‘Africa of Sri Lanka’ their home, those including the fisherfolk, farmers, and the vibrant assortment of wildlife.’
• Tamil Nadu Paddy Farmers Hit by Unexpected Rains, Poor Procurement
• About 455 whales dead after stranding on New Zealand islands
• Wildlife populations decline by 69% in 50 years: World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
C7. Industry (False definitions, anti-industrial sermons, rentier/entrepreneur, etc)
ee Industry notes the ignorance about industrialization (versus handicraft and manufacture), the dependence on importing foreign machinery, the need to make machines that make machines, build a producer culture. False definitions of industry, entrepreneur, etc, abound, and the need for a holistic political, economic and military strategy to overcome domination by merchants and moneylenders.
• Seruwila Graphite, Copper & Gold referenced in 3rd century Pali chronicles
• 50% Hydropower generation thanks to heavy rains
• Crisis-hit Sri Lanka — which ran out of fuel earlier this year — snaps up cheap Russian oil for the first time ever
• Kabir Hashim warns new taxes might have devastating consequences on industries
• Govt. steps up efforts to bolster exports by selling national resources
‘several value-added industry programs are being implemented…including; Cement Plant in Kankasanthurai, Chemical Plant in Paranthan, the Salt Company, and Ceramic Corporation, whilst noting they are also working to start with new investors.’
• SL’s manufacturing employment logs rare uptick
‘largely driven by the textile and apparel sector’
• Sri Lanka to give state land on 35-year lease for factories
• Hambantota Port – Myths and Realities
• Major oil supplier BB Energy threatens to withdraw triggering fuel crisis again
• Crude oil ship held up, demurrage piles up
• Crude oil scam: CPC loses USD 90m in six months
• SJB claims Lanka lost $24-30 m on recent 80,000 metric ton consignment of crude oil
• Power and Energy Minister assures maximum support to industries
• Coal procuring deal further messed up without tender
• Solar powered mini grid
‘Rainforest Savers, England’s Storlion & Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority has designed, built and commissioned a powered mini grid in an isolated remote village in the Knuckles forest reserve’
• Wind Force, Vidu Lanka and Hi-Energy opens solar power plant opens in Batticaloa
• Sri Lanka mulls controlling rubber imports for export industries
• Jobs will be created in future only in the field of information technology – Dhammika Perera
• Fortieth National Information Technology Conference underway
‘supported by the Ministry of Technology, Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), SLTMobitel, Meta, Sysco Labs, Axiata Digital Labs, Millennium IT and Fortinet, SLIIT, Lanka Pay, Wijeya Newspapers’
• Economic Crisis: Fate of Colombo’s Second Hand Book stores in limbo?
• US firm gets SriLankan Airlines contract for Automated Crew Scheduling and Resource Management System
• Sri Lanka’s Newest Airline FitsAir Flies to Dubai
• DHL Express announces annual price adjustments for 2023 in Sri Lanka
• Controversy erupts over soaring Sri Lanka blasting powder prices in permit raj
• USAID workshop on alternative dispute resolution in SL’s construction industry
‘Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB) President Dr. Rohan Karunaratne stated that there is a vast quantity of unresolved disputes’
• President opens first life-saving pharmaceuticals manufacturing plant by Yaden Laboratories
• Direct ReliefUSA: Lanka heading for a humanitarian disaster
‘Direct Relief USA Emergency Response Manager Chris Alleway and Senior Communication Specialist Maeve O’Connor called on Prime Minister…pushing Accord Healthcare, Apotex, Baxter International, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Viatris, AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation, Eli Lilly & Co., Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Integra LifeSciences, Meitheal Pharmaceuticals, and Merck, on the SL Medical Supply Division, and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority’
• Astron receives ISO 14001:2015 environmental sustainability certification
‘develops, manufactures and markets quality healthcare’
• Sri Lanka to donate 6 million Pfizer vaccines to Myanmar after failed 2nd booster
• China donates Rs 1.2mn worth of essential medicines to Lady Ridgeway Children’s hospital
• Japan and SL Memorandum of Cooperation on the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) for Low Carbon Growth Partnership
• Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) raises concerns on importing used electric vehicles
• Urgent measures to give people the value of illegally imported vehicles: Siyambalapitiya
‘466 vehicles have been imported illegally since 2015 and parked at the terminal. It was revealed that 90% of those vehicles were imported as unlawfully assembled units.’
• Govt lost about Rs50million revenue last year due to Motor Traffic Dept doctoring its records
• Looking back at Ena’s role in our artistic renaissance
• Impact of import sanctions on sports, fitness and wellbeing of Sri Lankans
• Why Our Electricity Prices Can’t Be Left to Bogus ‘Free Markets’
‘European Union’s power sector is a good example of what market fundamentalism has done to electricity networks the world over’
• India’s Noida: Electronic Manufacturing Company Workers Protest Non-Payment of Overtime
• India finds serious violations at firm linked to Gambia deaths, suspends production
• OPEC+ leaders like $100 oil, won’t necessarily defend it
• International Cricket Council (ICC) announces global partnership with Aramco
• Erdogan backs Putin’s gas hub proposal
• Ethiopian Airlines’ revenue surges 79% as profit hits $937 million
• National Self-Reliance: Essence & Implications
• The Asphalt Cartel swindled millions during Bolsonaro’s presidency
• Putin’s Russian Energy Week Speech
• The Euro Without German Industry
• EU energy pact vital to avert industrial decline and unrest, says Belgian PM
• Europe: “Production is collapsing. Deindustrialization is coming’
• EU lawmakers impose single charger for all smartphones
• Report says World Bank funded $15 billion in fossil fuel projects despite divestment pledge
• Global finance vs global energy: who will come out on top?
‘There is more to the current struggle between the oil-consuming west and the oil-producing nations than meets the eye and it runs far deeper than the war in Ukraine’
C8. Finance (Making money from money, banks, lack of investment in modernity)
ee Finance tracks the effects of financialization, the curious role of ratings agencies, false indices, etc., and the rule of moneylenders, preventing investment in modern production.
• Top Softlogic Finance official remanded over fraud
• Depositors of failed The Finance Co still urging government to repay them
• Nation Lanka Finance one of few NBFIs who settled depositors affected by Ceylinco troubles
• Thico scam: politician trying to scuttle probe and take the female swindler off the hook.
‘A former minister is alleged to have provided her with the foreign currency notes, but it was not immediately clear if he was also involved in the racket.’
• Dutch FMO $40 million loan to long-term Sri Lankan client Nations Trust Bank in 2021
• SEC cracks down on WhatsApp traders
‘certain high networth traders were seen pushing the prices down in dollar-earning counters.’
• Sri Lanka’s tax hike could lead to lower rates, boost real estate, stocks investments-dealers
• Sri Lanka’s tax hike likely to discourage small time investors into stocks – analysts
• Sri Lanka’s fixed asset market rates steady amid dull trade; budget awaited (O11)
• Shorter tenure bill yields continue to edge up after CB’s hawkish comments (O12)
• Sri Lanka’s state debt office raises less-than required money via T-bills at expensive rates
• Sri Lanka T-bond yields up in active trade; investors await clarity on tax hike impacts (O13)
• Sri Lanka sells Rs24.2bn in bonds, 2029 bond on tap at 30.85-pct
• Locals wary as CSE indices plunge (O11)
• Week commences in red (O12)
• CSE bounces back in the wake of Inland Revenue Act changes
• Colombo stock market rebounds
• Sri Lanka stocks recover on bargain hunting on fallen shares in thin trade
• Sri Lanka shares edge down in mid-morning trade
• Sri Lanka stocks post best gain in two months on bargain hunting (O13)
• Bourse’s buoyancy continues as buying interest in shares returns
• Colombo stock market ends 3-week negative run (O14)
• Shhh! Don’t Tell US Fed or Mainstream Media: Systemic Contagion at Wall Street Banks Already Here
• Nomi Prins : “No One Wanted to Call the US Fed’s QE a Ponzi Scheme. But It Was.”
• If Stockbroker Had Jamie Dimon’s BrokerCheck Record, He’d Be Unemployable on Wall Street
• Casino Banking: Wall Street Mega Banks Traded More in their Federally-Insured Bank than the Total for their Bank Holding Company
C9. Business (Rentierism: money via imports, real-estate, tourism, insurance, fear, privatization)
ee Business focuses on the rentier diversions of the oligarchy, the domination by a merchant mafia, making money from unproductive land sales, tourism, insurance, advertising, etc. – the charade of corporate press releases disguised as ‘news’
• 60th Anniversary of the Field Officers’ Association of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation
• Resumption of Russian flights to Colombo throws lifeline to badly hit tourism industry
• China’s Ambassador assures MR Chinese tourists would visit SL soon
• AmCham Sri Lanka holds its 30th AGM with US Envoy Chung as Chief Guest
• Australian HC visits NAITA for launch of Supreme Chef Season 3
C10. Politics (Anti-parliament discourse, unelected constitution)
ee Politics points to the constant diversions and spectacles and the mercantile and financial forces funding the political actors, of policy hijacked by private interests minus public oversight.
• Ven. Gnanaratana Thera appointed Chief Sangha Nayake
• Minister P.C. Imbulana, a politician to be admired – Garvin Karunaratne
• Mahinda makes a comeback; first of many rallies in Kalutara
• Sri Lanka’s Ex-PM Mahinda Rajapaksa addresses first public meeting since May – WION
• Weerawansa accused government of arbitrarily postponing debate.
‘As far as we understand, this is due to the prohibition on dual citizens from holding public office…10-15 government MPs whose strings were being pulled by “Mola Hathano” (The one with seven brains)’
• People must stand against wrong political decisions of leaders: Nalaka Godahewa
• What does Patali know about politics that Harini doesn’t know?
• The West wanted to remove a government that had a certain nationality – Nalin de Silva
• Race, caste and class in Sinhala – Nalin de Silva
• Caste and state power – Nalin de Silva
• Pohottu As USA Proxy Part 9A, B
• Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and Sepal Amarasinghe – Parts II & III
• Sri Lanka as yet lacks a Lenin – Devapriya
• Minneriye Deviyo: 50th death anniversary of CP de Silva – UNP
• Holding unproductive elections a severe burden for taxpayers
• Constitutional reforms: A case of self before country
• A prisoner of the budding types
• President plans to halve number of LG members before next election
• SJB accuses President of plotting to postpone polls
• Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus says 22A fails to ensure gender equality
• Landmark judgment in election bribes case yet to be implemented
• System Change, Not in My Lifetime!
• Wickremesinghe will remain a prisoner of the SLPP until next February
• SLPP lost the presidency due to public protests, but its ‘head’ has retained the bite reflex
• Chicanery over Constitutional reform – Editorial
• LG polls: JVP slams President’s delay tactics
• SJB to launch street protests to force Govt. to go for general election
• G.L. threatens Govt. with legal action over attempts to delay LG polls
• SLPP welcomes electoral reforms proposed by President
• Ranil not here to protect Rajapaksas, says Sri Lanka president’s party secretary
• Political parties should reach consensus and avoid referendum – EC Chairman
• Namal to take first steps towards policy reforms
• Massive build-up of public anger in the polity, and it has to be defused
• Parliamentary Election Act 1988 enables party leaders to engineer National List (NL) vacancies
• President calls to prohibit children at protests
• Tears for children
• Parents form national body to join ‘aragalaya’
• Cabinet nod to establish National People’s Council Secretariat
• Sanath Nishantha surrenders to court
• Electoral changes at this juncture: Stabbing with a golden knife
• Sajith asks Ranil not to follow Namal’s advice
• Damitha claims she only got about Rs 800,000 as donations during Aragalaya
• Electoral system reforms, referendum ruse to postpone LG elections – Institute for Democratic Reforms and Electoral Studies (IRES)
• All Opposition except JVP unite over PC polls delay
• Malaysia’s prime minister dissolves parliament, calls snap polls
• A Cuban Quixote: Alberto Bayo (2021)
‘As a soldier, Alberto Bayo fought in the Rif War and against the fascists in Spain. As a teacher, he taught Fidel, Che, and the revolutionaries who would one day liberate Cuba.’
• Brazil Round One: Bolsonaro Outperforms Expectations
• Bernard-Henri Lévy vs. Aleksandr Dugin 2019
• Swedish Moderates party leader strikes deal to form minority government
• Canadian Green Party misgendering kerfuffle may be its death knell
• Líz Truss Continues To Be The Bad Prime Minister Everyone Had Expected Her To Be
• US Corporate Interests Have Given $21.5 Million to GOP ‘Sedition Caucus’ Since Jan. 6 Attack
C11. Media (Mis/Coverage of economics, technology, science and art)
ee Media shows how corporate media monopoly determines what is news, art, culture, etc. The media is part of the public relations (corporate propaganda) industry. The failure to highlight our priorities, the need to read between the lines. To set new perspectives and priorities.
• Our Father – Nalin de Silva
• Julian Assange supporters form human chain around English parliament
• A Fairy Tale Version of World War II is Being Used to Sell the Next World War
• Former soldier builds Buddha statue in memory of former president’s parents
• Time to Centralize, Socialize, and Realize – Gyptian
• Leo Strauss and the “Crazies in the Basement”: ‘The Noble Lie’ and perpetual war
‘Strauss’s cult-following of obsessive acolytes, include former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, “Prince of Darkness” Richard Perle, and Republican pundit William Kristol..pervading not only the Bush administration but many of the major conservative think-tanks as well—the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and the American Enterprise Institute, in particular.’
• Ukraine – War Propaganda And News Items
• The Existential Terror Of Amazon Prime
• President calls on media secretaries to spread the word on Govt. recovery programme
• Eighteen caves conserved in Minintale
• The profound and the profane
‘corruption can only be kept in check if representatives from government, business and civil society work together for the common good.’
• Paynter’s queer aesthetics
• Queen Elizabeth II: Pomp, Pageantry, and the Apology That Never Came
• Amitabh Bachchan: Evergreen Emperor of Hindi cinema turns 80
‘The infamous Bofors Scandal…a shady deal in 1986 where 400 155 mm Howitzer guns had been procured from the Swedish firm AD Bofors for the Indian Army. Amitabh’s brother Ajitabh was allegedly implicated…’
• India’s heaviest rocket to launch 36 satellites to make its first global foray
‘for London global communication company OneWeb and India’s Bharti Airtel’
• Buddhism revived under Modi govt: Global Buddhist body; hails India’s mission
• Father Noel Crusz author of The Cocos Islands Mutiny
‘Noel was also the director of the first schoolboy film in Ceylon, coming out in 1956, Little Bike Lost’
• Young Marx on Fetishism, Sexuality, and Religion – Revisiting the Bonn Notebooks
• US Congress & Canadian Parliament order Twitter to erase Laith Marouf from virtual existence
• Charisse Burden-Stelly “Organize, Fight, Win: Black Communist Women’s Political Writings”
• The Contradictions of Bourgeois Secularism
• How can one choose to reason falsely? – Sartre (1944)
• Kanye West and the age of the unmanageable
• Angela Lansbury Was a Brilliant Actor and a Comrade